T1C Prostate Cancer

What Is T1C Prostate Cancer?

You may have heard cancers described using terms like T1 and T2.  If you're not sure what T1C Prostate cancer is, and are worried you or someone you love might have it, this article will help.  All cancers are described using staging systems.  Doctors use these terms to describe how far the cancer has progressed.  However, there's more than one system out there, so don't be surprised if your doctor uses an ABCD system instead of this one.  Just be sure to ask what your doctor means specifically if you're confused.

The T stage of the TNM method of describing cancer stages tells you what the form of the primary tumor is.  The N stage describes the state of lymph nodes in the area (in this case, near the prostate).  The M stage tells us how far the cancer has traveled.  T1C only refers to the primary tumor's form.

A disease in stage T1 is an incidental cancer.  Stage T1A, for instance, is found primarily in older men who've undergone surgery on an enlarged prostate.  Qualification as state T1A requires that less than five percent of the removed tissue show signs of prostate cancer, and that all the cells are well differentiated.  Stage T1B is similar, and is also usually found as a result of this type of surgery.  However, if cells are poorly differentiated from one another, or more than five percent of the tissue appears cancerous, the cancer is called Stage T1B.  In older systems, these stages are called A1 and A2.

Stage T1C prostate cancer is found only as a result of the patient's positive response to a prostate specific antigen, or PSA test.  There are no other clinical signs of prostate cancer in these cases.  This is one of the earliest stages of prostate cancer, and has a good chance of treatment.  In the older system, this stage was called B0.  You may have heard of a number of people being diagnosed with T1C prostate cancer.  That's not because cancer is on the rise, but because more men are having PSA tests done, and their cancer is being caught before it can become a problem.

If you're in a risk group for prostate cancer, it's important to be tested regularly to make sure that any symptoms are caught right away.  T1C prostate cancer is one of the earliest types, and may respond well to treatment.  Don't avoid getting tested - make sure you're healthy by asking your doctor about PSA tests and how often you should have one.